Institute of Critical Zoologists – The Great Pretenders, 2009


Abe morosus (leaf-insect) on food plant.

The Great Pretenders, 2009
Robert Zhao

(Text from

The artist developed an elaborate narrative about a group of scientists from ICZ known as the Phylliidae Study Group, which was splicing insect genes with those of various plants to create new hybrid leaf insects that were undetectable when in a particular habitat. Each sample was then supposedly submitted to an annual competition to determine the best “new species.” In 2009, the fictitious prize was awarded to a researcher named Hiroshi Abe (played by Yong) for his breed, Abe Morosus, with a congratulatory remark from the competition’s chief judge Atsuo Asami, purportedly an esteemed entomologist in Tokyo.


About The Phylliidae Study Group: (Text from

The Phylliidae Study Group (PSG) was formed in 1952 to foster the study of Phylliidae, a family which contains the extant true leaf insects. These creatures are often called walking leaves, and are some of the most remarkable leaf mimics in the entire animal kingdom. The group currently has a few hundred members worldwide with the majority of its members in Japan. The membership ranges from young children to professional entomologists. The PSG holds regular meetings and presents displays at all the major entomological exhibitions around the world. It emphasises study by rearing and captive breeding and has a panel of breeders who distribute livestock to other members.

The PSG also publishes the journal, Phylliidae Studies.

Typically, the Phylliidae Studies journal is produced biannually in May and December. It contains news items, livestock information, culture news, details of exhibitions and meetings, as well as a variety of short articles on all aspects of Phylliidae.

Details of membership may be obtained from the Membership Secretary, Masaru Mukai, The Institute of Critical Zoologists, 9-83, Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-8711, Japan.

Annual subscription rates are currently: Japan 6000¥; Europe €80; Worldwide; US$110.

Posted in CAP

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s